Like a Rolling Stone

by Patrick O'Connor

IT was great to get away from the chip shop.

Standing in the fresh early morning air, waiting for his two mates to join him, Mick could hardly conceal his excitement.   He fingered the three tickets in his pocket. Never won a raffle before in his life. And to a Rolling Stones concert as well - unbelievable.

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AFTER a train journey to St Pancras, Mick, Keith and Charlie caught the tube to Richmond, where a fleet of double decker buses was waiting to transport thousands of fans to Twickenham Rugby Stadium which was staging the event.

All three middle aged men were diehard Mansfield Town football supporters.Charlie was a grave digger, Keith had just started up a mobile fruit juice round and Mick worked at the chippie.

They didn't go down to London that often - usually to watch their beloved Town play at places like Leyton Orient and Barnet - so Mick decided they ought to pop into a trendy wine bar before the concert to sample a bit of sophistication.

The three men sat down in a swanky looking alcove, reclining in red leather seats. Mick was mpressed, apart from the fact that they didn't sell cheese and onion crisps.

"Hey, feast you eyes on that," he said, eyeing up a young brunette at the bar. "Or that, cor look at that redhead."

"Yeah, not bad, not bad," replied Keith. "You're right Mick, Twickenham's a bit smarter that what we're used to on a Saturday night."

Mick, a portly man with red, rosy cheeks and a wild, uncontrollable mop of brown hair, beamed and took another sip of the very expensive wine he ordered for the lads. Not his normal tipple but what the heck, you only live once. Would have gone down nicely with cheese and onion crisps though.

"This is the life, fancy bars and fancy birds. Bet Mick Jagger's in here every night on the pull. Bet he has the pick of the bunch. That's what happens when you're a big star. All the birds fancy you," said Mick.

"That's it then Charlie, Mick's problems sorted," laughed Keith.

Unlike the other two, Mick was still single and looked like staying that way.

Opportunities rarely presented themselves at the chip shop or watching Mansfield Town.

"Pack up working at the chippie and become a rock star," added Keith as he nudged Charlie playfully.

"Jobcentre should be able to sort that out youth," said Charlie, a pasty-faced individual with two missing front teeth, who rarely wasted words.

"Hey you two, I'm here you know, right in front of you. I ain't on another planet," said Mick.

"Mick you're always going on about how you're going to pull this bird or that bird. The only thing you've been pulling all these years is yourself," replied Keith.

"He's right youth," said Charlie.

"You're only jealous because I've got animal magnetism," stated Mick. Despite his virtually non-existent love life, Mick was convinced women found him attractive. He always felt sure that out there was "the one", that meeting her was just a matter of time.

Keith told him he was no Mick Jagger and never would be.

"Hey, there's nowt wrong with pretending, is there," said Mick.

"No mate, I suppose not," said Keith. He pointed at Mick and shouted: "Look everyone, look who's here, it's Mick Jagger!"

Nodding towards Charlie, Mick shouted: "Yeah and he's Charlie Watts."

Charlie raised Keith's arms and added: "And Keith Richards!"

Fuelled by the wine and the joy of their companionship, all three, resplendent in their Mansfield Town shirts, stood up, faces beaming, to exclaim: "We're The Rolling Stones!"